Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Barn Quilts

The following photos are the ones I took when hubby, wee dog and I went on a tour of barn quilts.  As you can see, not all the blocks are on barns and I did try to include a bit of the building so you could see the age or the structure itself.  These buildings were in the Gravenhurst area.  Enjoy.


Friday, June 26, 2015

An Inspiring Story from a Guest Blogger

I asked blogger, Quilter in the Pines if she would share the following post with you.  It is a wonderful story and a great reminder of how we can help someone in so many ways without being aware of it.  Of course, we can also do harm which is why it is so important to remember that we don't usually know about the difficulties people are experiencing.

You can read Eileen's blog and the follow up to this post at: quilterinthepines.blogspot.ca



Friday, June 26, 2015

Pattern tester

A few weeks ago I posted a picture on the EQ yahoo group, asking if anyone recognized the block, as I couldn’t find it in the Block Library.  One lady emailed me to say that she didn’t know what block it is, but she really liked it.  I told her I would be using it in a pattern, would she be interested in testing it for me?  She replied that if it was “something a beginner can do”, she would be willing. 
Somewhere along the line, my mind ignored the “beginner” part.  If she has EQ, she must be a quilter, right?
I worked on the pattern, started sewing, worked on the pattern some more, sewed some more...  I sent her a picture and then the pdf.  THEN her reply got through to me that she was a “beginner”.  She was willing to give it a try, even though I would not have classified it as a beginner pattern.  Confident beginner maybe, but not a first quilt.  I told her it would be a good test of the pattern.
She helped tremendously, pointed out areas that needed to be clearer, or put differently.  She was a very good tester.  And an excellent quilter.  Very accurate.  Excellent results.
We reached the end.  She sent an email saying she “ripped and repaired some errors that were so obvious in the pictures”—uh, no, they weren’t.
Then she went on to say:
I want to thank you and let you know what an impact you have made in my life.
Almost three years ago I had a stroke. My speech and memory paid a heavy price. I worked at recovering from it. Long story short, I knew I was the only one that could change things. I began to play "games" or "studying" a new topic (for instance EQ7) attempting to create new connections in my brain. EQ worked for 8 chapters. Until a few weeks ago I would get up and go into my room and want to work on something, usually machine embroidery. I could play with the program on the computer. Started an applique, never finished it but continued messing with it telling myself "Why should I stitch it out, it's not right. I'll only have  to do it over again". Now, that is history. What happened with you was so fast, I didn't have any time to think about it. You were asking and immediately sending pictures and pdfs. Then I made a commitment to you that I HAD to complete. I have used my machine more since working with you than before I sent that first email. You opened a door to a subject I was interested in. I had been reading books and watching videos, again not doing. Now I am looking forward to getting back on that machine and doing what I really enjoy. It is as though a /wall was knocked down. I truly thank God for using you to bless me. Eileen, you never know who God will bring into your life, to help you (or someone you love) as you did me. I avoided commenting on this before but...  I am 85. Guess why I didn't tell you that earlier? You are a beautiful person.” Wow. Never in my wildest dreams, would I ever imagined that I would be helping someone.  I went into this as me being the only one (and potential buyers getting a good pattern) who would gain anything.  I do feel that my talent was a gift from God, and to have actually helped someone else is a true blessing. I don’t mean to slight any of the other quilters who have tested for me—you have been a great help to me.  This was such an unexpected twist that I just had to share her story.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Customer Service

Today, I would like to tell you about a company I really like. I have used Vista Print for business cards for both my company and for our local Art Centre (I am the publicity/promotions person), name stamps, and signs.  I can honestly say that the products and price are great.  You can, however, get good products in a number of places.  What sets this company apart, in my opinion, is the customer service.  If there is a problem, they fix it or give you a credit-no questions asked and without having to return the product.  If you need help, it is available.  Yesterday I called because I wasn't sure how to do something.  The rep not only answered my question but gave suggestions on how to improve the appearance of product I was ordering.
We all have so many options on where we spend our money.  The internet has enabled us to shop world wide from the convenience of our home.  Business owners have to (or should) work had to attract and keep customers.  When all else is equal, service will be the deciding factor for me.  If a company doesn't return phone calls, reply to e mails or not have a person to answer a phone-quickly, I will go somewhere else.  Customer service should mean the customer is served.
Do you have a favourite company? Do you have a rant about one?  Let me know and I will share it with my readers changing names if necessary to avoid lawsuit.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Where is the Driver?

Honestly, I can't decide if this memory thing is amusing or just plain irritating.  I went with my husband to Huntsville today and while he was at a doctor's appointment I went shopping.  I bought some fabric, of course, and as I was paying for it, I forgot the PIN number for my debit card.  I have used the same one hundreds of times without thought but, today everything disappeared into some dark hole.  Fortunately, it did come back and I was able to slink out the door with my purchases clutched in my feeble hands.
Next stop was fueling the car.  Hubby had been picked up and was in shopping as I went to the gas bar.  I navigated all the tricky bits and came back to the car-to the passenger side.  I was just about to open the door and get in when I realized I was the driver.  I looked at the lady in the vehicle behind mine and just shook my head.  She smiled and asked if I had forgotten I was driving.  I agreed and said that I did wonder what had happened to my husband.
Fortunately there weren't any further incidences and I was able to drive us both home remembering not only the route but how to drive. But, my mind, or lack of it, wasn't finished yet.  Hubby and I were synchronizing our calendars so he wouldn't be out on the same day as me  leaving our dog alone for too long when I realized I had a major oops.  I had an appointment scheduled with a specialist and I wrote it on the calendar.  Unfortunately, I seemed to have only written down the time and the word Dr.  As I have a couple of other medical visits scheduled, I have no idea which one was at the hospital.  I am going to have to phone them tomorrow.
I think I am soon going to have to wear a name tag in case I forget who I am.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ho Hum

I have just had a day in which what I accomplished could have been put in a thimble.  It isn't that I didn't have anything to do but more that I couldn't settle on anything.  I took the dog for a walk, did some work on the computer, pulled out fabric for a quilt and then put it back again because I didn't like it. 
I thought about going to Huntsville to buy some owl fabric and then found what I had purchased earlier in the month and forgot about.  (Isn't that always fun).  It works but I need something to go with it and nothing I have is suitable.  So, I will make the trip tomorrow.  Hubby is going to see a specialist so it will be a joint trip which saves fuel.

And that is as far as I have got today.

It is almost time for  getting supper, watch the news and then out for Bible study.  It has been rather nice having a more relaxing day as last week was quite busy.

I can't remember if I told you this before but if you have access to a copy of Quilter's Connection, I have a pattern in it.


Friday, June 19, 2015

An Amazing Evening

I just finished a marathon quilting session.  I completed the quilting of the crib quilt and got the binding sewn on ready to finish tomorrow.  I am helping to staff our art centre and it is a good opportunity to do some hand sewing as it usually isn't busy until the summer months get here.
The two panel's I ordered arrived in the mail today so I will be able to get at them next week.  One is for a quilt that is already sold so it will be first.
Hubby and I are going out this evening.  There is a free music cafĂ© in the village Legion every third Friday and it is a fantastic evening.  We have a tremendous amount of talent in this area and there is a waiting list for those who want to be part of the evening.  This is amazing as no-one gets paid.  A free will offering is taken but that goes to our food bank or other charities.
The Legion serves a dinner before the music starts which is at a reasonable cost and the money goes to the Legion.
 I was just saying to dear one that we need to book a day for ourselves.  Between work, medical appointments and volunteer things, we never seem to have any time for us.
Hope you have a great weekend,

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Tar Test.

My hubby is making great progress on the new chicken coop.  The roof is on and yesterday he did the stuff that covers the wood and got the tarring done.  It should be nice and watertight for when the occupants move in.  The walls are the next step.
I had to laugh when dear one came inside as he had tar in his hair, on his clothing and face.  The latter happened when he was swatting bugs and forgot his gloves were covered in black sticky stuff.  He didn't even realize he looked as though he was getting ready to commit a burglary.  No light would have reflected from him.  He even had it in his eyebrows and lids!
I had to rub Vaseline into the tar and then Dawn dish liquid but it did come off.  His clothing is another matter.  I am not even going to try.  His shoes have nice waterproofed soles as well.  I really should have taken a photo before helping him to clean up.

I got my next crib quilt into the frame today and should have it done tomorrow and the binding sewn on.  I can finish the hand part while taking my turn at staffing our art centre.

Went in for my eye test today and found that my current prescription is still good.  I haven't had to get it changed for at least three years now so that is good.  I am tested every six months because I had laser to correct a problem a couple of years ago.  So far, so good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Addicted to Quilting

For those of you who are quilter's or married to one:

 A speech given at a conference on quilting (Quilt Canada 2010) by Allan Fradsham, a criminal court judge in Calgary, Alberta, where the conference was held.

“When, some years ago, Gloria told me that she was going to build upon her years of sewing experience, and take up "quilting", I thought she was telling me that she was going to take up a new hobby or a new craft.  I was completely oblivious to the fact that what she was really announcing was that she was taking up membership in a tightly knit (if you'll pardon the expression) group of individuals whose loyalty to one another makes motorcycle gang members seem uncommitted, and whose passion for quilting activities makes members of cults look positively disinterested.  As is the case with many spouses, I was completely unaware that there existed this parallel universe called quilting. 

However, to be completely unaware of a world-wide sub-culture operating right under our noses and in our homes is a bit obtuse even for husbands.  But there it is, and here you are.  And, most oddly, here I am.  You might wonder how all this came to pass; I know I certainly do.

I cannot now identify what was the first clue I detected indicating that Gloria had entered the fabric world equivalent of Harry Potter's Hogwarts.  It might have been the appearance of the fabric.  Bundles of fabric, mounds of fabric, piles of fabric, towering stacks of fabric.  Fabric on bolts, and stacks of small squares of fabric tied up in pretty ribbons (I later learned these were "fat quarters" which to this day sounds to me like a term out of Robin Hood).  The stuff just kept coming into the house as thought it were endless waves crashing onto a beach. And then, just like the waves, the most amazing thing happened: it would simply disappear.  It was as though the walls of the house simply absorbed it.  Metres and metres (or as men of my generation would say, yards and yards) of fabric would come into the house.  It would arrive in Gloria's arms when she returned from a shopping excursion.  It would arrive in the post stuffed in postal packs so full that they were only kept together by packing tape (these overstuffed Priority Packs are the equivalent of me trying to fit into pants I wore in law school).  These packages would arrive having been shipped from unheard of towns and villages in far away provinces or states or overseas countries (I am convinced the internet's primary activity is not to be found in pornography; that is just a ruse, the internet's real function is to facilitate the trafficking and distribution of fabric).  Wherever we went, be it in Canada, the U.S., Europe, wherever there was a collection of more than three houses, Gloria would find a quilt shop from which she would pluck some prize from some bin with the enthusiasm and unerring eye of an archaeologist finding a new species of dinosaur.

And of course, the reason that there are quilt shops everywhere is because there are quilters everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.  A few years ago, Gloria had been visiting her sister-in-law in Kelowna.  While there, she found and purchased a Featherweight sewing machine.  I understand that making such a find is a matter of such joy that it may eventually attract government taxation.  When it came time to fly back to Calgary, Gloria worried about what the people at airport security would have to say when she tried to take the machine onto the plane.  She need not have been concerned.  Now, airport security takes pride in preventing me from carrying onto a plane a small squirt of toothpaste left in a rolled up toothpaste tube if the tube in which it is lodged did at some point in the distant past, contain a prohibited amount of toothpaste.  My spot of toothpaste is a national security threat.  However, when it came time for Gloria to go through security with the Featherweight, which is made of metal and has needles in secret compartments, airport security came to a standstill.  Why?  Were they about to confiscate the machine, and detain the person who dared to try to board with it?  Of course not.  They gathered around it in awe and admiration, asking Gloria questions about where she had found it, and expressing admiration for her good fortune in finding it.  And why did Gloria get such warm treatment when I am shunned for trying to maintain some degree of oral hygiene?  Well, the answer is obvious; the assembled airport security staff were all quilters, complete with the secret handshake.

Maybe I should have twigged to what was happening when the washing of all this fabric led to having to replace our washing machine, which was clearly not designed for such industrial use.  Now, let me pause here.  I understand that there is an intense debate within your world about whether or not fabrics should be washed upon purchase.  I do not wish to be caught in any cross-fire between the two camps, for all I know, as an outsider, I may not be authorized to even know of the controversy.  I do suspect that if men were making the decision, quilting would involve  lot less fabric washing and a lot more beer drinking. 

I did eventually discover where all the fabric went.  It went into drawers, cupboards, shelves, and, eventually it completely filled up a closet, which took up one full wall in Gloria's newly built "sewing room".  What we now call Gloria's "sewing room", we used to call "the basement".

I have discovered that one of the art forms mastered by quilters is the ability to purchase container loads of fabric, conceal it in the house, and camouflage the purchase so that it slips right under the nose of the unsuspecting spouse.  As a loving and obedient spouse, I have on many occasions found myself in quilt stores where I serve two useful functions: I can reach bolts of fabric stored on top shelves; and I can carry numerous bolts of fabric to a cutting table.  However, I have also started to listen to what is said in quilting stores, and one day, in a little quilting shop in the heart of Alberta farming country, I heard something that made it clear to me that quilters are so clever and, dare I say, devious, that there is really no sport for them in fooling we naive husbands.  Gloria had decided to buy some fabric (which is similar to saying that Gloria had decided to breathe), and had gone to the till to pay for it.  Upon running through Gloria's charge card, the clerk quietly said, "Now, when you get your credit card statement, don't be alarmed when you see an entry for our local feed store.  We run our charges under that name so that if a husband looks at the credit card statements, he will think that the entry is just something he bought at the feed store for the farm".  That sort of financial shell game would make Goldman Sachs proud.  I knew at that moment that there had been a major and probably irrevocable shift in the world's power structure.  I concede it is basically over for the non-quilting husband. 

As you have been told, I sit as a criminal law judge, and as such I often find myself sitting on drug trials, or  issuing search warrants in relation to drug investigations.  I must say that the more I learned about the quilting world, the more I started to see similarities between that world and the drug world.  It has caused me some concern.

We all interpret events from our own perspectives using the lessons we have learned through life.  When I saw the extent to which Gloria's collection of fabric was growing, I began to worry.  In the law relating to drugs, the amount of a drug one has in one's possession is an important factor in determining the purpose for which the person has the drug.  For example, if a person is in possession of crack cocaine (to use a drug with an addictive power equivalent to fabric), one look at the amount of crack the person possessed.  If the amount exceeds the amount one would realistically possess for personal use, then one may reasonably draw the inference that the purpose of the possession is not personal use, but, rather, it is for the purpose of trafficking the drug.  So, you can imagine what I thought when I saw Gloria's collection of fabric grow to a point where she readily admitted that she could never use all that fabric in several lifetimes.  I reluctantly concluded that I was married to a very high-level fabric trafficker.  Mind you, in order to qualify as a trafficker, one does have to part with fabric, and I see very little evidence of that happening. 

In fact, the more I thought about the parallels between the quilting culture and the drug culture, the clearer the similarities became.  Consider the jargon.  I have learned that this vast collection of fabric, which is stored in our house, is a "stash".  Well, drug dealers speak of their "stash" of drugs.  Gloria speaks of doing "piece" work.  In the drug world there are often people who bring together the crack cocaine dealer and the buyer; think of a real estate agent, but not as well dressed, through perhaps somewhat less annoying.  Those people speak of breaking off a "piece" of crack as payment for bringing the parties together.  Sounds to me like a type of "piece work".  Those who transport drugs are often called "mules"; I have frequently heard Gloria refer to me as her mule when I am in a quilt store carrying stacks of fabric bolts (or did she says I was stubborn as a mule?).  Well, it was something about mules.  And I should think that this whole conference is a testimony to the addictive qualities of quilting.

In my role as a Sherpa, I have accompanied Gloria on various quilting expeditions, and I have been impressed by many things.  One is, as I have mentioned, that no matter where one goes, there will be a quilt store.  The proliferation of quilt shops makes Starbucks outlets seem scarce.  One day Gloria led me into a hardware store, which seemed odd to me, that is until I discovered that, as I walked towards the back of the store, the store had become a quilt shop.  The metamorphosis was extraordinary, and very crafty (if you will pardon the pun).  At that moment, I knew how Alice felt as she followed that rabbit down the rabbit hole.  Suddenly, one was in a different universe.  

Another thing I have learned is that the operators of quilt shops have great business acumen.  In one of Gloria's favourite shops, upon entry I am greeted by name and offered a cup of coffee.  If the grandson is with us, he is allowed to choose a book to take home.  It is all so friendly that I don't even notice that I cannot see over the growing pile of fabric bolts which fill my arms.  I wish that my doctor did such a good job of distracting me when it is time to do a prostate exam. 

I have learned that quilting is both international in scope and generous in spirit.  I have learned that quilters are quick to assist those in need, and that they have always been prepared to stand up for what is right.  For example, I think of Civil War quilts, which often conveyed messages about the Underground railway for slaves escaping to Canada.  I think of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and the Quilts of Valour project.  At one point, I thought of suggesting the creation of an organization akin to "Doctors Without Borders", but decided that an organization called "Quilts Without Borders" would indeed be illogical. 

And of course, there are the resultant quilts.  We have quilts throughout the house.  They adorn beds, chesterfields, the backs of chairs.  They are stacked on shelves, they are stored in drawers, they are shoved under beds, they are hung on walls.  There is even one on the ceiling of the sunroom.  They compete for any space not taken up with the fabric, which will eventually result in more quilts.  I live in a cornucopia, which disgorges quilts instead of produce.  I have decided that quilts are the zucchini of crafts.  But who can complain?  Quilt seriously, each one is a work of art, and an instant family treasure.  While family members and friends are delighted to receive them, I churlishly begrudge seeing them go out the door.

Though I tease Gloria about the all-consuming nature of her obsession, I am constantly amazed at the skill necessary to create those works of art.  I stand in awe as I watch her do the mathematics necessary to give effect to (or correct) a pattern.  When she quilts, she combines the skill of an engineer, a draughtsman, a seamstress, and an artist.  Her sewing machines require her to have, as she does, advanced computer and mechanical skills.  She knows her sewing machines as well as any Hell's Angel knows his Harley.  She uses measuring and cutting tools and grids, which would challenge the talents of the best land surveyors.

In short, I am very proud of what Gloria does, as each of you should be proud of your own skills and creations.  They are impressive and very evident at this Conference.  On behalf of those of us who wouldn't know a binding from a batting, I simply ask that when you finally and formally announce that have already taken over the world that you find some simple tasks for us to do to justify our existence.  You might call those tasks... the QUILT PRO QUO.

Gloria and I very much appreciate your warm hospitality this evening.

In closing, the hotel management has asked me to remind you that those found cutting up the table cloths for quilting fabric will have their rotary cutters confiscated and forfeited to the Crown.”


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Read the Package Label First.

Whether quilting or baking (or anything else) it never pays to be in an a rush.  Mistakes can happen which are time consuming and, often, expensive.  I was adding the last few ingredients to my bread mix earlier and was wondering why it wasn't as runny as usual.  When cooking with almond flour,  the dough consistency is much different that with regular flour but not this morning.  I rechecked my directions because as I quadruple the recipe, it is easy to make a mistake.  Everything looked okay.  If I had been a cartoon character, you would have seen a light bulb appear over my head with the  words uh oh in a bubble.  Checked the almond flour bag and found what I suspected-I used coconut flour. Same bag, different ingredient.  Coconut flour absorbs moisture like a sponge.  Well, I wasn't going to waste all that money so I now have (I hope) coconut loaf, cupcakes and a base for either squares or some sort of topping.  And, of course, I still have to make bread!
When this type of mistake occurs, sometimes the results can be surprising.  I did a taste test after baking and it all seems alright. I even made date squares (without a topping) from the base for squares.  The loaf will even be okay for bread so I only have to make one  tomorrow which goes to a lady for whom I bake.
New quilt patterns have been created from the same situation.  I guess this is another case of making lemon pie from lemons.  Okay, I know the saying uses lemonade but as I am taking about baking, I thought pie made more sense.

A friend of mine has started a new venture.  She wanted to hand make some cards for a special occasion and realized she was going to have to buy a lot of stuff some of which would be excess.  Realizing that others may want to make cards but not want  all the left over stuff, she has put together kits.  Everything a person needs to make their own individual greeting cards, wedding invitations etc. is in one neat package.  If interested, the company name is Karla's Card Kits.  She has a web site.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Publisher's Rights

This has been one of those dreary days when the sun spends its time in another area and trades its presence for rain. It is 14 degrees and feels cooler.  It is, however, a good day for getting things accomplished because there is no pull to be outdoors.
I have a huge pot of stew in the slow cooker, hemmed some sheer curtain panels, designed and ordered business cards for the art centre and diddled around at a few other things.
I have just received permission from MSQC to sell a quilt using one of their patterns.  Designer's are  pleased to give permission as it helps promote their work but I always ask.  It may seem a bit odd asking if it is okay to sell something you have made and paid for yourself but, in reality, a pattern is sold to a consumer on the understanding it is for personal use. 
In this era when songs are downloaded, written material photocopied and someone else's ideas used without thought of compensation or recognition, it is uncommon for anyone to do the right thing.  As both a writer and pattern designer, I know what it is like for someone to, basically, steal my property.
I once wrote a column for a newspaper and discovered it was being used in a different publication.  When I approached the editor about it, he said he thought I wouldn't mind as it was publicity.  Publicity is a good thing but so is courtesy and it would only have taken him a moment to ask.  I now make sure that anyone who publishes my work knows that it is only for that particular magazine/newspaper. 
I am sure my patterns get photocopied and handed around despite my stating on them that it is illegal to do so. I doubt if the time will come when all artists will stop producing original work as we all enjoy what we do.  However, there will be less and less that can afford to do so without having another full time job which will result in less production. And that will be a shame.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Another Top Done

I finished another crib quilt top today.  I wasn't sure that I liked it at first but when I got it on the design wall and stepped back a bit, it looked much better.  That is like life, isn't it?  Things can look bleak when you are in the midst of them but, if you are able to step back and look at the situation from a different angle, the perspective (and circumstances) often change.
I got our garden gnomes all set out today, finally.  It takes a while as there are quite a few and I try to change where they go each year.  I also did a bit of gardening but the bugs drove me back indoors.  Little Heidi had a few bits on her tummy that were bleeding so I didn't want her to be out.  They were just blackfly bites but still nasty.  She is bustling around the house right now chasing flies.  Our fearless hunter.  Tiny on the outside but a vicious predator on the inside.
The summer edition of Quilter's Connection quilt magazine is on the stands.  I have a pattern in it called Frog Tiles.  (Did I tell you that already?  With writing on Facebook, my on line quilt group and this blog, it is hard to remember who I told what!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sun Spots

We have just gone through an hour of watching the sky.  This area had a tornado warning as did much of southern Ontario so we were staying together in one room and waiting.  We have a couple of problems in these situations.  One is that we don't have a basement and the other is that we really can't see much of the sky for all the trees.  However, it did pass and we can get back to normal.
Our little dog, as they often do, sensed something was wrong and wanted to be picked up.  It is odd that dogs have the same reaction as a small child when they feel something is wrong: they want to be picked up.
This is my little crib quilt, Sun Spots.  I finished the binding on it this morning and it will be going on the Quilts for Sale site shortly.  The pattern is from the MSQC and the original is called Floating Squares.  And now, on to the next project.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grumpy Staff

It seemed to be a bad day for clerks today.  I went into town to get some much needed fabric and groceries and was waited on by a couple of women who were not at their best.  At the fabric store (a major chain), I asked the lady who was cutting my fabric if there was a sale and she said 'probably'.  I asked if she could check and away she went.  She was gone for a bit and then came back to let me know there wasn't.  Finished getting my fabric cut, took it to the checkout and all of a sudden she was in a wonderful mood.  I couldn't figure out what happened for a second and then I noticed that the boss was nearby.  That is the first time I met anyone in that place that wasn't cheerful as well as helpful.
On to the grocery store:  I always try to get all the items for the freezer bags on the counter first so it is easier for the clerk.  This one proceeded to put non food items in the freezer bags and the perishables in the regular ones.  I kept exchanging things and she finally seemed to get the idea.  She also packed the groceries on top of the bags that were still inside the other bags.  Again, the employees of that store are usually very professional.

All that aside, it has been a nice day.  After I got home and put everything away, I took Heidi for a walk.  The bugs seemed to have gone somewhere else so I didn't have to be covered head to toe.  Tomorrow, I will get back at the crib quilt panels now I have the fabric.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Quick Quilt

I have had a productive day.  I got my crib quilt on the frame just before lunch and I have almost finished quilting it.  I am using free motion rather than a pantograph and it certainly is a lot quicker-and less tedious.  I only have about three more rows to do but might not get it finished today as it will be time to start supper shortly.  We are having movie night at church this evening so by the time we watch a bit of the news, it will be time to go to that.
I also got a baby quilt started but need fabric to finish the borders.  I should have bought it when I got the panel but I am glad I didn't as the store now is having a sale.
My husband has been having a lot of problems with his back this week and isn't able to stand for very long.  He usually gets supper a couple of times a week but, with his back problems and working on the chicken coop, I have been doing all the meals.
We have been getting a nice rain today.  The garden can use it as it has been a week since the last nature blessing. Everything is coming up nicely and I expect we will soon be able to use the lettuce.  Rhubarb is past.  We don't get much from our garden but it is increasing each year.
Hope you have a good weekend. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

All is Well

After fighting with my frame machine on and off for about a week, I finally finished the quilt top.  I am now getting ready to load another which, I think, I will do with a free hand design.  I have to figure out what yet but I would like the freedom of not following a pattern after battling through the last quilt. 
Before I do anything quilty though, I am going to take the machine apart and give it a good cleaning.  This is especially necessary after having the thread break so many time because a tiny bit  may have found its way into the tension disk or the bobbin holder.
I am also pulling out fabric to start another baby quilt.  This one is slated for a local store.  I had one ready  but it sold before I got it there so now I need to do another.  Yesterday, I ordered a couple of panels from an on line store in Saskatchewan and one of them will be for the crib quilt order that I was given.
Went out and pulled some weeds from around the vegetable gardens earlier this morning.  Everything seems to be growing nicely and there are even a few surprises.  There is a potato plant coming up near the squash and a tomato in with the beets.  It is always fun when something comes up from a self planted seed.
Hubby is making headway on the chicken coop.  It is going to be a nice, spacious and safe home for our flock.  As you can see, all continues to be well here in the back woods.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Mousecapade

This Saturday past, I had a vicious animal in my kitchen which caused me to bring in assistance from a local knight in flannel armour.
I was reaching for my cookbook when I heard something on the floor.  When I looked down, I saw a mouse running around in a circle.  I screamed and zipped into the other room.  Our little dog came running and I pointed to where the mouse was and she came over to stand guard while I called my husband who was, unfortunately, working.
For some reason, he didn't seem to understand my problem and suggested I make a noise like a piece of cheese to lure it from the house!  I opted for phoning a neighbour friend and she brought her husband to my rescue.
The mouse was still in the same area with Heidi watching so my mountless knight was able to get it and take it outside.
I am not usually nervous about mice but because this one seemed hurt, it really upset me.  Not sure why.  If it had been killed in a trap, I would have felt bad but not so upset.
The rest of the day proceeded normally but I am sure I will not hear the end of my mousecapade for a while.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sun Spots

I have just finished this crib quilt top which I have named Sun Spots.  It will be the next one to go on the frame as I have my machine working once again.  I am pushed for time right now as we are going out in half an hour but did want to share that I have sold another quilt (the bear applique) and have an order for a crib quilt.  It is so gratifying to have people appreciate the difference between a mass produced quilt and one that has been made by an individual craftsman.
 I was also going to tell you about the big mouse adventure I had but it will have to wait until tomorrow.